Management consultants are often faced with the challenge of managing fluctuating workloads, with projects that can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. While it may be difficult to achieve a daily or weekly work-life balance in the consulting environment, striving for a broader balance can be beneficial. The “big four” consulting or accounting firms - Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PwC - have policies in place to address the problem of excess consulting hours, but these are not always effective. Boutique firms tend to fare better, with only 67% of consultants working beyond their contracted hours.
Improving project resource management can help consultants plan and monitor their workload more easily, avoiding burnout. There is an ethical and business incentive for consulting firms to ensure their employees have a good work-life balance, as burnout can have a detrimental impact on both the firm and its staff. When considering a career in consulting, it is important to understand what the title “consultant” means, the paths you can take to enter the industry, the skills you need to succeed, and what you can expect to be paid when you're starting out. Ultimately, it is possible for consultants to achieve a good work-life balance if they are aware of the risks and take steps to manage their workloads effectively.